Welcome to the "Life in the Universe" website! It has been created as an integral part of the major educational programme of this name, organised by the European Research Organisations CERN, ESA and ESO, under the auspices of the European Science and Technology Week 2001.
The search for life
The search for life outside the Earth has taken on a completely new dimension during recent years. Many new research projects, supported by advanced technology, have sharpened our senses and, for the first time in the history of mankind, now give us a real possibility for discovering extraterrestrial life forms, if they exist.
Many different scientific disciplines and techniques are involved. They range from the study of the evolution of the Universe to the investigation of extreme life forms found in inhospitable environments on the Earth, from the search for fossil life on Mars to the attempts to detect intelligent signals from other civilisations. It is, no doubt, one of the most ambitious projects ever conceived.
About this website
This website will attempt to provide a reasonably comprehensive summary of that enormous undertaking, exposing the various facets at a level and depth that will hopefully appeal to many, including those outside scientific circles. In particular, the organisers have in mind young people in secondary school and their teachers.
The frontpage with its characteristic "S"-shape provides a general overview that allows easy access to the many individual themes and sections. Cross-linking is available to facilitate the comprehension and to emphasise associations, especially where these may not be immediately obvious.
It goes without saying that a website of this scope and complexity cannot be developed in a short time. We are well aware that, at the moment of launch, it is still very incomplete. However, the main structure should be quite visible and we will do our best to fill in the missing parts as soon as possible. So kindly be a little patient while the various levels of the "Life in the Universe" website are being updated and more pages are added!
Activities in many countries
The "Life in the Universe" project is much more than this website - it also comprises interesting activities in over 20 European countries (including competitions), organised by the respective National Steering Committees.
There will also be a "Final Event" in early November 2001. Read about all of this on the various information pages at this website.
Comments are welcome
The International Steering Committee, supported by the Experts' Panel will be glad to receive remarks about this website and its contents. They will be taken into account during the further development, as far as possible.
Please send your remarks to the Executive CoordinatorMonica de Pasquale (Monica.de.Pasquale@cern.ch).
The International Steering Committee (July 2, 2001)